Invest in Local Talents! Charity Begins At Home! Reply

Invest in Local Talents! Charity Begins At Home!

This article was First Written March 2010 in My Between Us Only! Column in The Oman Daily Observer!

Invest In Local Talents!

The other day I was watching a literary presentation of awards and I was watching keenly if there would be some Local Writers or Authors that I know who write in English (like me – rather than in Arabic) who would be presented with some awards, but I saw none. Than it dawned on me that peoples like us are ‘not recognised’ because we write in a ‘Foreign’ language, though I could see some ‘Foreign peoples’ but who write instead in Arabic being recognized for their skills and talents.

I have to admit that made me feel very bad, worse to see the Association built to recognize such skills and talents missing us ‘foreigners who write in a foreign language’. That made me realize of what is really at stake here, and if these kind of things are allowed to persist, not only it builds alienation and indifference, but would go a long way of killing any enthusiasm, initiative, keenness and budding rising talents and entrepreneurship – and especially after all the talks and focus in Human Resources Development in the country. It may even lead to bias, discrimination and polarization – things that are all bad and nobody wants to give even an iota of starting to come and creep in!

When I wanted to have my first book (Between Us Only), I had put an advertisement in all the local newspapers looking for a sponsor. I even wrote personal appeal letters to some CEOs in very high places for my book to be sponsored. They in turn gave the ‘draft book’ to their expatriate subordinates, and I then immediately realized that my book will never see the light of day because my book was very hard hitting (like the article The Chicken and Egg Story) and no expatriate – to say the least – would have wanted this book to be published in the first instance, let alone it to be sponsored! These facts were proved correct by the refusals and rejections (pink slips) by one or the other on the ‘flimsiest of excuses’ – like a large Financial Institution that had made large profits in the last year in not having ‘the funds to sponsor the book’ per se!

I was just contemplating of going abroad to other ‘help avenues indicated to me’ – coincidentally by well meaning decent and good intentioned expatriates – when this gentle person local CEO of a fully Omani run prestigious Company agreed to sponsor my book, and the book was finally published – after a very long delay of months whilst it was still under ‘censor’ to get its license to get it published. I vowed to myself (and still do) not to go through these motions again.

This time I vowed to print my second book (Psychology of Arab Management Thinking – ready for printing) by saving first myself and printing it in Book Surge in Amazon Com, or Trafford in Canada. But the savings have still not materialized, after one after another in paying peoples in my ‘failed Human Resources Development Consultancy business’ – which is a separate story all by itself! It seems to me that there is a ‘personal vendetta and agenda’ out there to ensure that this book too does not see the ‘light of day’ – and this time for sure too. One would definitely and naturally feel shy and ashamed to go to the first sponsor again for sponsorship of the second book!

The book coming out into existence was not the end of it, actually it was just the beginning of more things to come. Approaching different bookshops to run my book in their bookshops and stalls first here in Oman, there was only one Family run business that took the book in and ran it all over in Oman and in exhibitions, and portraying it in strategic positions in all their branches all over Oman. I am eternally grateful for this. The book is the only place still selling my book. They deserve a pat in the back for encouraging local talents and entrepreneurship.

The story was not successful in the other bookshops in the country. There were those who curtly responded that they only stock Arabic (and Religious!) books, but if I was so kind to translate the book into Arabic (although 80% of the issues were all local in that book in Socio-Economic features, like Marriages, Bad Driving, Muscat Municipality, Public Sector working, Divorces, Omanisation, Management Issues, Message for Teenagers, Advices like How To Apply For A Job etc) – then they would consider stocking the book. More than 200 copies were sent by me as Complimentary Gifts to very senior VIPs and High Profile personalities in the land, but with just a Thank You Note in responses. With some it was dead silence, and not sure if even they had received my book?

Then came the International arena of things, starting with the International Bookshops running in the country. One wanted a copy to read first ‘to clear the book (I thought there was only one official centre for this kind of activity!) He – with due respects Regional Expatriate – took his own time to read the book, and I had to go to his immediate European boss to push it to finally get its approval to be stocked – after a lot of foot dragging and reluctance. I was so happy because this Company stocks their books in International Airports and in International Hotels.

Then one day I was at a course in this International Hotel in Muscat, and I went to their stall ‘to see my book’! It was put just well inside, and one had to ask for the book if one wanted to buy the book, unalike the family run local bookshop that had put my book in a strategic prominent place and for a very long time too. Lack of support and encouragement is still there!

The irony is that this International run Bookshop stock all the titles of books that many others would call as ‘best kept out filth’ for that matter. Or they would feature Authors (foreign) who have ‘photo books’ of local issues like terrain, mountains, birds, animals etc. It seems the local birds etc fare far better than the local Omani National human being writer for that matter – and maybe if you are a believer of reincarnation than to come back as a local bird or animal, rather than an Omani National Author (or at least trying to be one!!) is still far better!.

In my job as a Freelance Human Resources Consultant, I have come across some International firms and their Managers from those countries that have ‘infested twisted vindictive biased and narrow minds’ of Omanis and their competencies, competencies, skills and talents. What makes it all so sad, tragic, sickening and pathetic is ‘just recently created artificial Senior Local Managers there’ agreeing wholeheartedly and giving credence and credibility to such narrow minded assumptions focus and outlooks.

To be honest and sincere here, in some countries even ‘so-called moderate and Western Supporters too’ they would send some of these expatriates back home en masse and even close down their so-called desire to invest here in the country, let alone allow them to still operate under such circumstances – simply because they have local powerful sponsors – who care the least on such issues but how much more money they are going to make – and how much bigger their tummies will be at the end of the day – let alone listen to complaints and accusations from their own local peers and kind!

But that kind of peoples are the minority, but if these are continued to be allowed and be tolerated, could lead to a lot of future troubles and problems ahead – with the new coming in of age youngsters who are lesser docile, tolerant, patient and understanding. It is high time that these issues are handled thoroughly and vigorously.

Personally I do prefer a person who is straight forward forthright and vocal – rather than a person who is quiet, unassuming and pretends to go along, or looks not caring or disinterested – whilst inside him is burning anger, fire, fury and frustration. If he is able to hide and not show these, who knows what he or she may be capable of doing next??

Think on it for a moment! Take Care!


Please Support The Local Authors! Reply


Between Us Only!

Supporting The Local Authors!

Please Support The Local Authors!

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money! – Jules Renard

This similar article was written in January 2005 – over 8 years ago! The mere fact that I am writing on the same topic now again – shows nothing much has yet changed that much!

It is commonly said – and repeated over and over againthat the person who really cares and feels for you will tell you the truth – even if you do not like to hear it being told to you! The person who keeps quiet – or goes along with you – even if he knows deep down that what you are doing is wrong and unethical in all accounts – is not your real true friend!

They also say in our Religion that we should not stop saying things which are the truth – even if it will hurt us. There are so many references in the good book and in The Hadith pertaining to this very same topic – and so many cases, examples and references given of our Great Prophet (PBUH) and other examples – rich in history too!

It need to be also said that if Truth was spoken – and people are prepared to hear and listen – and act on them too! – then the world would have been a safer more peaceful place – with more tolerance, co-existence, ‘live and let live’, and patience than now! Whether we want to accept this or not – or go for the ostrich head in the ground approach – it is our own business only – and no one else for that matter! The truth be said – without the necessity of always sugar coating – because the later too does not work either!

I have noted lately that there has been a great support for Arts and Paintings – but with the few exceptions of VIPs books – or books supported by VIPs including opening and launching sessions – the rest of us are still out there in the cold! Especially some of us that write in English as the easier language for us to do! And if you write on topics that people prefer to push under the carpet – or not to hear – then your situation becomes even worse! And that especially when you have compiled your works in books formats – and people can read easily – over and over again!

A few years ago when the poor girl I knew well in my HR Consultancy jobs died – with 9 members of her family in a tragic horrible accident – I was talking with her Manager and was inquiring about her – and why there was a great silence – and nothing coming from her in emails in support and nice comforting words. My emails were going to her – but the IT people there were themselves still in shock to remove her name from the mailing list!

1 - Being The Safe Driver - Front

Being The Safe Driver!

It is true that many of us read the newspapers – or watch the television – of road accidents stories – but we never imagine that the victim in the tragic accidents – many are avoidable – is someone we know well! We never get involved personally in the stories and get emotionally inclined in touch and feelings! Perhaps if we made the attempts – or tried to do so – things could act out to be different! Perhaps only then road accidents could come down tremendously! I strongly believe in this – with the ever increased accidents and fatalities in the country!

When I self published on my own the Road Safety book – Being The Safe Driver! – Behind The Wheel! – and created the supporting website – – I thought things would now be different this time! With exception of some few great companies of the land buying copies for their Board and The Management Team – nothing else went different! It was just the same stories – all over again! Reduce the book price – if I get OMR 2 in each book after costs publishing, air freight from USA and Bookshops commissions at 35% each book!

You would have imagined the Bookshops were the only winners – but even there ;you have to beg, borrow and steal’ to get your books taken in – unless it is for the publicity for the VIPs books – or books launches by VIPs! Poor M – a retired HR – no one knows him – and he has no W! Besides, why support and assist him – when his other books links – especially The Arab Management books that ‘rocked the boat to its very foundations’! So if we support his Road Safety book it would be like directly or indirectly supporting his other books per se!

I remember the famous nursery story of The Red Hen who went around asking others to help in growing seeds until harvest of the corn – but none did! When it baked the cake – and asked – who will eat from my cake? Everyone wanted a piece. I am sorry to say this – after the advices I get of ‘why don’t you translate the book into Arabic? You will get more Readers that way!

When I sent my appeal to them before the book publishing – they just ignored me and looked the other way! Thus my writing the article – Deafening Silence! You can see it here in my website! I should have learnt my lesson – after sending these VIPs my first books – including The Arab Management books specifically – but with the exception of very few expatriates – none even acknowledged even receiving the books – let alone in thanks!

Truthfully, I have never considered the business of writing as a business enterprise – or to make money! There is no money in books – and the returns – if any – are extended, tedious and belated too! But one needs to look things at the greater picture – and look things outside the box! Not everything is money in life! Otherwise today there would have been no great works like War and Peace – or the Shakespearean works! What is the added advantage if one’s works come out in fame – when he is invalid – or as many cases long time dead? Whilst he was alive he was unknown and unacknowledged – and miserable and poor!

I appeal to The Leadership to visit this arena too – and to (re) consider our cases more sympathetically and pragmatically! Especially those of us few that write in English! Even in the few competitions the insistence is works in Arabic – point taken – but communicating in other languages should be welcomed in! That is what and why Oman became great in history! Besides, not many are like yours truly – determined not to be let down – but keep his head up – and to succeed against all odds!

May Allah God Guide and Direct us to the right path and way – Amin.

By Majid Al Suleimany

The Other New Books


2 - BUO ST 2

3 - BUO TS 3

1 - Behind The Wheel Cover

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